The Sunday Preach:
Chapter 8: 'Get out there'
While everyone loves what is 'inside' the firehouse: the kitchen, rigs, tools, gym etc... we must get out into our first due and ensure that we continue to provide the level of protection that our citizens require and deserve.
The only constant in life is that of change.
Change in our personal lives, families & careers our communities, the world continues to change around us. It is up to us to 'keep up' with the changes in our areas as it relates to the fire protection of our citizens and communities.
"A portion of the inscription found on the side of the FDNY’s Firemen’s Memorial, erected in 1913 on Riverside Drive and 100th Street in Manhattan, describes firefighters as “Soldiers in a war that never ends”... In that nearly hundred year-old statement from the FDNY Firemen’s Memorial, there is recognition that battling fire is indeed warlike. It was fought in many of the same ways then as it is now. To fight today’s war against fire, we must have the wherewithal to know that our war is conducted in the homes located on the streets of our response areas. Continually conducting reconnaissance of our areas and really getting out into our communities and taking inventory of the “battlefield” is paramount.
As Francis Brannigan stated so eloquently, “We must know our enemy.” The buildings in our response area are our enemy. Within them is where the true dangers lie. The best service we can provide our communities is excellent fire protection. Our community deserves nothing less. When they call us we must be ready. Getting out in your community is much more than getting in the rig and going for a ride for driver training. Assemble a crew and talk about the homes you see as you drive past. Knowing your first-due buildings is a huge part of being prepared for battle in your office.
Knowing the ins and outs of your first-due area is a great start to mastering YOUR battlefield" (Pg. 77-78)
Call it what you will, "area familiarization," "street drills," "driver training," "district recon"... Get out there and see what’s going on in your first due areas! Don’t sit back and wait for the first fire in that newly built development. Get out there and view it, pre-plan it and drill in it!
Also, appoint a member to go and sit in on building department meetings. While this position isn’t the glory of the nozzle, it may just save a life the same way, with proper planning.
FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANING TO FAIL.